44 Percent of Americans Simply Trying to Stay Current on Bills and Avoid Debt or Bankruptcy, Says New NetCredit Survey
CHICAGO (December 12, 2012) – Almost half of Americans (48 percent) indicate they are living paycheck to paycheck today in a new survey by online lender NetCredit and 44 percent are simply trying to stay current on bills or home payments and to avoid excessive debt or bankruptcy.
The poll of 1,000 Americans identified population segments where the concern of living paycheck to paycheck runs highest:
- 62 percent of Americans in their 30s
- 54 percent among those Americans under the age of 60
- 57 percent of families with children
- 64 percent of families with five or more people in the household versus 45 percent for households four and smaller
- 53 percent of residents in southern states versus 41 percent of those in the Northeast U.S.
“Living paycheck to paycheck puts many Americans dangerously close to their own personal fiscal cliff should they be hit with an emergency expense,” says Stephanie Klein, head of consumer lending at NetCredit. “An unexpected medical bill, car repair or higher than usual utility bill can easily push them beyond their ability to pay bills on time.”
According to the NetCredit poll, three out of 10 Americans report that their primary financial goal now is simply to stay current on their bills (24 percent) or home payments (six percent) with another 14 percent trying to prevent excessive debt or bankruptcy.
Faced with the need to borrow cash today to meet a financial emergency, Americans indicate they would turn to the following sources (almost 30% would turn to more than one option):
- General savings - 61 percent
- Credit card - 23 percent
- Borrow from family/friends - 16 percent
- Separate rainy day fund - 15 percent
- Pawn or sell items – 7 percent
- Bank loan - 5 percent
- Short-term cash advances- 4 percent
- Installment loans – 2 percent